A Wallingford Thing

[Seafair Pirates Sticker]

There was a lot of dissent about the parking situation among the people on the sidewalk.

One man grumbled, “Those ‘no parking’ signs are confusing! They say ‘June 6’, but today is the seventh.”

But his friend pointed out, “Actually, it is June 6.”

That only upset him more.

The theater marquee said “Kiddie Parade – Sunday” beneath the movie titles. There was a man leaning up against the bike rack when I went over to park my bike. I asked him, “What’s this kiddie parade?”

“I guess it’s just a Wallingford thing. . . . A lot of people are going to get towed.”

The street was cleared by the time the movie was over. There was no traffic and there were no parked cars. A small family was waiting patiently for the parade on a line of lawn chairs at the edge of the curb – front row seats. I could hear drummers tapping out a marching rhythm a few blocks away.

Someone was negotiating with the police at the end of the street. A boat-car maneuvered around the police car and came sailing by. It was the Seafair Pirates. (Oh, no.) They were hanging off the boat-car, waving their swords aloft, just the way any of us would if we were dressed as pirates and hanging off the side of a boat that was driving up 45th Street.

I headed around the corner and wandered around the sidestreets. I found the practicing marching band and three or four different drill teams lined up in formation. Each group was wearing uniforms of a different degree of polish.

There was a lemonade stand set up on someone’s front lawn. That sounded good. I parked the bike and walked over.

“I’ll have a cup of lemondade.”

The girl poured out a measure of syrupy pulp and changed my dollar.

“How’s business?” I asked.

“Fine.” She said that in the most disinterested tone that she could manage. The situation wasn’t as novel to her as it was to me.

Categorized as Before


  1. You have the most wonderful writing style–would laissez faire be an accurate description? Literally, I think it means to allow to act. This is how your words float down and arrange themselves.
    Reading your descriptions and accounts of how you pass your time is like walking slowly alongside you, in no particular hurry, just observing through wise, non-judgmental eyes, every detail that makes up the whole picture.
    The rest of us are in such a hurry, we march right past the fine points, destination in mind, without even noticing the path we’ve taken.

  2. There’s an element of laziness in that laissez faire – not taking enough time to wrap everything into a more coherent structure. But anyway, your compliments are much appreciated.

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